Runny mascara. Stray mascara marks around the eyes. Overdone eyeliner. It’s happened to the best of us. In my last post, I talked about mistakes that many women make in applying foundation. Today we’re going to talk about no-nos for the eyes. Many women make similar mistakes when applying mascara and eyeliner, or they don’t find a balance between the eyes and lips. Here’s how to avoid these common makeup mistakes.
The biggest mistake many women make is not tossing their mascara after four months, tops. Did you know that every time you open mascara, pull the wand out, use it and put it back in, you are introducing air and bacteria to the mascara? The introduction of air causes the mascara to dry out, which makes it clump when you put it on, not to mention that it’s full of bacteria. So, if your mascara is going on clumpy, it’s probably time for a new one.
The second most common mistake is applying too much mascara, which also causes eyelashes to stick together in a clump. One or two coats is really all you need. To make sure there isn’t too much mascara on the wand, blot it with a tissue first before applying. Start at the base of the lashes and wiggle it back and forth gently until you reach the tips. Allow it to dry before you apply the second coat. You can comb out any clumps with an old mascara wand.
Finally, invest in a table-top makeup mirror. Many of us put on our mascara over the bathroom sink, but sometimes we’re just too far away, or too nearsighted, to realize that we’ve over-applied, have stray black marks on our eyelids or under the eye, or have clumps. A makeup mirror is your best friend to make sure you’ve applied your mascara correctly.
It looks great on rock stars, but most of us shouldn’t go to work with eyes made up like the late Amy Winehouse. The heavy, garish look of eyeliner ringing the eye can make us look like raccoons. However, eyeliner judiciously applied can really make eyes pop, causing them to look bigger, prettier, and more defined. In applying eyeliner, keep the wand (if liquid) or the pencil as close to the lash line as possible. Try to draw a thin line almost through the lash line. Use a Q-tip to wipe up any mistakes caused by hand shakiness. Stop at the end of the lash line. You are not Cleopatra! Line only the upper lid to avoid that raccoon look.
Remember that there are other shades of eyeliner, and black may not be the best color for the fairer-skinned. It’s easy to end up looking overdone with eyeliner. Try lighter shades, like not-quite-black or caramel if you have lighter skin and eyes.
Eyes Versus Lips
Another common makeup mistake that women make is emphasizing both their eyes and lips. You have to pick one or the other if you plan to go for a more intense, dramatic look, otherwise you will just look overly made up and harsh-looking. So, if you go for a dark, smoky eye, you can’t also have a bright, intense red lip. Instead, use a paler, natural color on your lips. If you want to go for a bold lip, then simplify your eyes by just using mascara and eyeliner.
Mascara and eyeliner can be a girl’s best friends or her worst enemies. Don’t be caught with runny or clumpy mascara, raccoon eyes, or an overdone, made-up look. Keep your look natural and fresh, using these products to play up your best features.